Burn Down the Ground, by Kambri Crews (Ballantine Books, $25)
How does the hearing daughter of two deaf parents find her place in the world? For Crews, the situation comes with extra baggage: her charismatic father’s battle with the isolation of being deaf and the indignities of the hearing world push him into violent crime and 23 years in prison. Caught between two worlds, Crews struggles to find and navigate her own territory. Brave, honest and impossible to put down.
The End of Money: Counterfeiters, Preachers, Techies, Dreamers—and the Coming Cashless Society, by David Wolman (Da Capo Press, $25)
Cold cash is about to be as extinct as the Dodo bird, says Wired contributing editor Wolman as he probes a brave new world of digital cash, exploring what it means for our society and our wallets. Determined to go cashless for an entire year, he seeks out those who have left their Benjamin Franklins behind, including a counterfeiter and the Digital Money Forum in London. A penny for Wolman’s thoughts? He believes cash actually hurts the poor the most.
Breaking and Entering by Eileen Pollack (Four Way Books, $18.95)
Traumatized by the Red State/Blue State Divide? Pollack’s blistering novel follows a liberal Jewish/Christian couple whose world is turned upside down when they flee their San Francisco home after a tragedy to move to the Michigan countryside with their young daughter. This is a world where kids believe Satan creates homosexuals and adults insist America must be defended with guns. But are things really that black and white here in the heartland? A provocative look at the lines we draw in the sand and what happens when we stomp them.
The Living End: A Memoir of Forgetting and Forgiving by Robert Leleux (St. Martin’s Press, $19.95)
When Leleux’s beloved grandmother got Alzheimer’s, she lost most of her memories, but also released anger and old wounds, and became truly happy. Moving, majestic, and so hilariously funny, you’ll be underlining pages.
Caroline Leavitt has already eaten all of the Valentine’s Day chocolate in the house and is almost positive she’s exercise it off. She can be reached at www.carolineleavitt.com